Ruach Shoah


Ruach Shoah (by Randyjw; April 21, 2016)


Three baby boys

were wrested from their Mothers

arrested by the brownshirts

spirited under cover


Onto the trains they boarded

arrivals yet unknown

some were sent to slave camps

yet in their pockets sown


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

Somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep


Since I do not know their stories

and it’s often hard to tell

I imagine that their very lives

were torn straight out of Hell


The feeble and the able

were sorted left from right

Cacophanous like Babel

around the dead of night


The vice of hatred tightened

around the Jewish born

Tossed like last night’s refuse

upon the tresses shorn


Yet red and brown and gold and grey

were pressed with utmost care

upon the tiny picture

of a mother hidden there


No time could change the outcome

the utmost loving stare

the life so full and vital

forever frozen there


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep


The grabbing hands all strangers

passed one from host to host

to keep from Nazi danger

the children of the lost


Six million lives of Zion

had perished in the flame

their children sole survivors

of families without name


But in their garments’ hemlines

were sown with love by Moms

who knew their fates now rested

in memories of their sons


These golden hearts presented

a chance to live anew

Their placement represented

their love, which only grew


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

someone else to rock it

gently to sleep


Beyond the bounds of body

their spirits shining bright

reminding these young men now

to live their lives aright


Their love escaped beyond the Pale

and shone from heights above

though ending in the showers

their souls’ eternal love


were given to their children

into G-d’s trust and watch

and through His mighty power

He set it with a catch


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep


The heart now dangled firmly

on golden woven strands

around the baby infants

who came from Holy Land


And some could see the horrors

forced on the very people

who taught them of their G-d,

resulting in their steeples


In untold words of thanks

they sing in songs of praise

for none can raise their voices

beyond their darkened graves


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep


Beneath three dusky habits

their names by need erased

Aside the sewn-toy rabbits

their forms were gently placed


The nuns became the servants

the mother’s kindly face

for none could let these children

ameet the self-same fate


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep


So growing up with Christians

these three boys lived and grew

cloaked with the saving religion

that saved a very few


Yet now they’ve each reached manhood

and bear these tales to tell

and gaze into the locket

whose life had borne them well.


A locket, a locket

A locket for my pocket

somebody else to rock it

gently to sleep



There were no lockets. This is a tribute to the three men whose lives were part of the escape from Nazi terror. Each have a similar bearing in that each man had, indeed, been saved by nuns. This fact is all I know and all that I have been told, pretty much, by the men who have relayed these events to me. Perhaps it is all they can bring themselves to tell. One is the sole surviving descendant of one of the Jewish men who fought against the Nazi terror at their ghetto in Warsaw. Another was my Mother’s work manager and hails from Canada. The third is a beloved person by all who meet him. I chanced to meet him through a program he continuously volunteers his efforts to in Israel. It is he who accompanied me on my first trip to Jerusalem. I am honored.






Filed under Poetry

8 responses to “Ruach Shoah

  1. It’s sad I can’t communicate with him. A long time ago, I had a hack/e-mail issue, and someone kep pretending to be one of these people. My ex gave a non-logical excuse to “borrow” my phone, which I never saw again. Although a Bedouin guy came into the room as a beggar and my back was
    somewhat turned, I don’t believe he stole it — I think my ex pawned that excuse off on him. My Iaraeli contacts, from then on, seemed to be compromised. This also affected my
    communication with my Israeli pen-pal from when we were really young children. Though we lost touch over the years, the Israeli postal service was able to deliver my letter trying to find her to let het know I was coming to visit, after all these
    years, with no other information other than her name on it! She’ll always be my friend, although sometimes we don’t always act as we’d wish each other should’ve. The man of the descendant of the Warsaw Ghetto was really on my mind lately (I hate this, but if I can’t get someone out of my mind for days on end, it often portends bad news, it seems). He’s been through the mill. I try to connect with him, and each time I do, I seem to keep getting hacked! So, I can’t talk to him! Also with my penpal. This was way before even my WordPress hacking issue. So, I decided to write the poem. I don’t kniw how any of these three men were initially separated from their families during the Holocaust, and how each of the three wound up under the protection of the nuns. But, thank G-d for those nuns. I forgot to mention that the third man is from Belgium. They are really wonderful people. Alot of grief our People face. I felt its weight in writing this poem. Some families did spirit out small hidden things; it was mostly what little money or jewels they might’ve had with which to bargain for their lives. In the world’s attitude today toward the Jews, I see no much improved state from how the Holocaust began (boycotting our stores; perpetuating blood libels of slander against us; vandalism and destruction of our worship sites; demonization and questioning our right to exist, as a People and as a nation; and the pogroms and continual war of Jihad against us — meaning, people are killing us for being Jewish)! Yet the world continues to attack its victim! But, don’t say we didn’t warn you to wake up from this madness of your own self-destruction!

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  4. I’m sorry to have saddened you. Before even learning the circumstances of these three men, I noted that there was just something so extra, super-special and immensely kind about each and every one of them. Maybe their corcumstances made them so — I was just discussing these types of side effects with a friend of mine via phone about the unintended, but often beneficial, effects on people who have lost most, or all, of their natural family members or who have been treated as “castaways” within their families, etc., to the same benefit. They often have learned to be very kind, to lessen the severity of harshness with which people have treated them. It was a horrible hand they were dealt, but their chatacters were refined in sortof a purity of fire by what they’ve had to endure. It did work out for all three; they were lucky. I know you’ve mentioned the loss through the Holocaust of much of your family. I am so sorry, Dolly. I’m sorry to bring this heavy burden at your door. Crying I do all the time, these days. Hopefully, things will work out. I didn’t add to my culled list another story I wrote regarding my trip in Jerusalem with one of them (I’ve been there with two of them!) and our going to charities there to peruse their services. I cry every time I think about or read my story — I hope you don’t find it. It’s just heartbreaking. Oy… In the continuance of these mens’ lives, though, they all pulled through. I had to honor and celebrate that and the memory of the Holocaust, which I’ve tried so desperately to ignore for far too long, and that’s shameful of me.


    • No, I haven’t read this. I’m not sure I can, at the moment; but I eventually might. Yes, we do need to be tender and treat with dignity the people and memories they carry, as well as our collective, soul-searing attachment as appendages to the same collective fusion of human beings put together as sparks of Divinity of one kind. One kind, one mind (and there I go, just needing to rhyme…oy…)

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